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INDIA INNINGS

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul stroll out to open for India.

2:55 pm The groups have lined up for National Anthems.

PLAYING XIs

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

India: Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

CAPTAIN TALK

NAIB: Wanted to bat first. It's can be a long day, taking a look forward to the end of the day. Noor Ali not playing, Hazrat within the side. Dawlat also not playing, Aftab within the side. Happy with batting performance towards England, playing the fifty overs.

KOHLI: Going to bat first. Looks like a truly excellent wicket. Nice and difficult. Beautiful day to play cricket. One forced exchange. Bhuvi out and Shami in. Vijay confirmed numerous composure within the last sport. Brings stability with bat and ball and he's excellent as any person on this planet within the field. Whether we are playing a team which is very sturdy or a team bobbing up the ranks, our mindset is identical. Can't take Afghanistan flippantly. Dangerous side once they get within the groove. Can't take any team flippantly within the World Cup. Focus is within our workforce, what we wish to do.

TOSS NEWS: Virat Kohli wins the toss and India come to a decision to bat. Shami is available in to switch Bhuvi. Vijay Shankar is are compatible and remains within the playing XI. No room for Rishabh Pant.



Hello and welcome to Timesofindia.com's coverage of the ICC World Cup, and it is time for Southampton's Rose Bowl stadium to wash in blue as India take on Afghanistan.



So much has happened since India's last event towards Pakistan. Shikhar Dhawan has flown back home with a fractured thumb, Rishabh Pant has joined the squad as Dhawan's substitute and Vijay Shankar had his toe crushed by means of a Bumrah yorker within the nets.

The BIG QUESTION



Without a lot ado then, speaking about all that, the underwhelming Afghans and what to anticipate is our MATCH PREVIEW.

After days and days of darkish clouds and regular drizzle, sunshine finally made its presence felt in this a part of the sector. Friday was bright and sunny, virtually in the course of the day. Even the seagulls came flying and circled the Hampshire Bowl, as if to celebrate the splendour of daylight.

How the Indian team will have to have cherished the sight of it. With their World Cup sport towards Afghanistan bobbing up right here on Saturday, it was important for the weather to give a boost to so that the game could be staged.

India aren't simplest taking a look on the two issues from this sport, but in addition an important development within the net run rate with an eye fixed at the semifinal qualification order. The met forecast for game-day is excellent and a complete contest will have to ensue. The flooring, though, was nonetheless rainy and wanted some more drying up for it to be risk-free for the gamers.



While there was some suspense over Vijay Shankar's fitness, he gave the look to be match-ready after going through a fitness take a look at on Friday. Shankar mentioned he was feeling a lot better. Asked if he would be capable of play on Saturday, the allrounder mentioned, "Yes, hopefully." Shankar was hit on his toe by means of a Jasprit Bumrah yorker on the nets on Wednesday.

India are set to field paceman Mohammed Shami instead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is nursing a hamstring niggle. It's difficult to see how and where Afghanistan can harm India. It's a match-up between one of the most best possible groups within the festival towards the weakest one.

To make it worse, the hammering Eoin Morgan gave the Afghanistan bowlers of their last sport at Old Trafford would have depleted their morale even additional. Their poster boy and main strike weapon, Rashid Khan, was clobbered for 110 runs off his nine overs, the worst-ever bowling performance within the World Cup.



But cricket can be slippery trade and a team has to protect towards complacency. The excellent factor with this India side is that it's a process-driven professional unit, very focused at the process. It seems highly not likely that it will allow Afghanistan any elbow room.

To give a boost to the run rate, it is better to bat first and put up an enormous overall at the board. However, run making has not been easy on the Hampshire Bowl.


The Indian bowlers had South Africa tied in knots right here of their World Cup opener. Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar had made the brand new ball communicate, and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was incisive. A humongous overall - 350 or past - is probably not possible right here.




The turn side is that Afghanistan batsmen should face tricky questions of various hues and dimensions, such is the range within the Indian attack. It can be interesting to see how Rashid comes back after the England nightmare. His captain Gulbadin Naib feels that he'll be all right. "Any player can have a bad day. But Rashid is strong in the mind and he is a quick learner."


Virat Kohli and Co will come exhausting at Afghanistan. Can Afghanistan repel the rate? Can they have one excellent day on the World Cup? Seems not likely however hope floats everlasting.

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